11-4-17 LSU vs Alabama

LSU head football coach Ed Orgeron leads the Tigers out of the tunnel before the Tigers' 24-10 loss against Alabama on Nov. 4, 2017, at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

After LSU’s third top-10 win of the football season, recruits from across the country started to buy in to coach Ed Orgeron’s program.

After gaining pledges from four-star safety Malcolm Greene, flipping four-star defensive end BJ Ojulari and a monumental commit from the highest-rated tight end ever rated by 247Sports, Arik Gilbert, the Tigers sit at No. 2 in the country, according to 247Sports.

Now on the backstretches of both the football season and recruiting season, LSU has a chance to finish strong. No. 2 LSU will line up against No. 3 Alabama in the biggest game of the season on Saturday.

Similar to 2011 when these two teams faced off as the top two teams in the nation, there will be future NFL players all over the field. Twenty-one players who played in that 2011 game for LSU were drafted, and 24 Alabama players were also drafted.

These numbers don’t include other players who weren’t drafted but still made it to the NFL.

“When we recruit we talk about the NFL a lot,” Orgeron said. “We talk about how many players we have in the NFL, how many first round draft choices we have and about the success that our players have in the NFL. That they don’t go to the NFL and just bomb out. They have a lot of success. They’re MVPs, and they play for years to come.”

There is not a program in the country with more recruiting momentum than the Tigers right now. Greene, a 5-foot-10, safety from Highland Springs, Virginia, committed to LSU after taking an official visit for LSU’s 42-28 victory over Florida. Greene ranks as the No. 310 overall prospect in the nation, coming in as the No. 26 safety nationally and No. 6 in Virginia.

Recruiting analyst Brian Dohn had this to say about the four-star safety: “Good frame with skill set to play safety with nickel ability. Comfortable in backpedal. Easily flips hips and runs with receiver. Does not shy away from contact.”

After searching for more edge rushers, Orgeron got his wish after gaining a commitment from former Tennessee pledge, BJ Ojulari. The Tigers landed a verbal commitment from the Top-150 prospect the day after the Auburn matchup. Ojulari is highschool teammates with Gilbert, who shocked the world by committing to LSU less than a week earlier.

The 6-foot-2.5, 222-pound, Ojulari is one of the most athletic edge rushers in the country. He clocked a 4.78 40-yard dash and a 4.49 shuttle with a 42.60 vertical at The Opening during the offseason. Ojulari is ranked as the No. 9 weakside defensive end in the 2020 class.

LSU pulled off one of the biggest recruiting upsets in recent years after landing a commitment from Arik Gilbert leading up to the Auburn game. LSU beat schools like Alabama, Georgia and Clemson. While Gilbert could have picked from any school in the country, his pledge to the Tigers gives them a special edge to this recruiting class, as he holds many unique skills.

Coming in at 6-foot-5 and 253 pounds, Gilbert has great size to match up with any player at the collegiate level. With his commitment, he joins cornerback Elias Ricks and wide receiver Rakim Jarrett as five-star recruits heading to Baton Rouge in 2020.

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